How a Physiatrist Helps You Get to the Source of Chronic Pain

As we age, or if we experience some traumatic injury, we may experience repeated numbness, aches, or pains. For some people, these feelings are a continual inconvenience, but these sensations can soon become debilitating chronic pain for others. Knowing whom to turn to for relief from these awful, life-changing physical phenomena can be complex.

More and more people are turning to a physiatrist to understand their chronic pain, how they can cope, or even how familiar pain sensations can be reduced or obliterated.

A Physiatrist is an Expert on the Nervous and Musculoskeletal Aspects of the Human Body

Unlike normal physicians, physiatrists build a team of medical experts and opinions to deduce the root cause of a patient’s sensations of tingling, numbness, or chronic pain. All physiatrists work differently, but most will thoroughly examine their patient’s physical makeup to evaluate their condition. The human body is an amazingly complicated piece of natural machinery; more often than not, the root cause of unpleasant sensations may not be apparent.

Two key tactics physiatrists utilize are Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS). With an NCS, electrical signals are passed through a patient’s body to determine how effectively the patient’s nerves are transmitting electrical signals. An EMG examination is slightly more intrusive as it involves the insertion of thin needles into the patient’s muscles. These tests will pick up any abnormal signals that the muscle is generating. The physiatrist will also have a lengthy conversation with the patient and discuss the findings of these tests, which help the doctor better understand the root cause of a patient’s pain.

Once A Physiatrist has gathered all Evidence, a Treatment Plan Can be Devised

The emphasis of any treatment plan that is devised will be on education and non-intrusion procedures. Surgery is always the last resort when it comes to the treatment of chronic pain, as it is seldom wholly adequate. A long course of dangerous, opioid-related painkillers is something that a physiatrist will always try to avoid.

The treatment plan may include all or some of the following:

  • A physical therapy regimen that consists of a recommended exercise regime
  • Education for the patient on how they can best deal with their condition and changes they may need to make to their lifestyle to improve their general, overall health
  • Treatments to the affected areas of the body are as minimally invasive as possible. Such therapies aim to restore as much function as possible to the affected area without requiring extensive surgery.
  • An exploration of therapies that may not have been considered before, such as tai chi or acupuncture
  • Psychosocial education in which the patient is offered support via group activities, including counseling if thought counseling could be of benefit

If you are suffering from tingling, numbness, or chronic pain sensations and feel a physiatrist’s services would benefit you, then you are probably right! For a detailed, initial consultation about what a physiatrist could be for you, please get in touch with Macomb Pain Management. We can help with all forms of pain management, including arthritis pain, joint pain, inflammation, tendon tears, sciatic nerve pain, and much more.

Contact us today at (248) 844-8218 or use the online contact form available here.